Lacey the Dare Devil

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Our kitty, Lacey, is our dare devil cat.  A couple months ago I caught her on the banister which looks over our stairs and front entrance.  In other words, if she fell off on the wrong side, she would fall from the banister on the 2nd story to the floor of the 1st story….probably about 25+ feet.  I don’t know how she even jumps up there without losing her balance!  Cats are amazing I tell ya!



I guess if she really lost her balance she could try to jump onto the chandelier.  Although, then how would we get her down?


My baby blue eyes!

Sloppy Jo's (skip the "e")

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If there’s one go-to meal that I know is sure to please at our house it’s Sloppy Jo’s….skip the “e”….cuz I’m a girl, and girls’ names aren’t spelled J-O-E, their spelled J-O!  Good, now that that’s settled, let me give you 2 reasons Sloppy Jo’s are a main staple at our house.  #1:  Steve LOVES them, and #2: They’re SUPER easy to make.  Growing up, I had never been a big fan of Sloppy Joe’s, but now that I’m the ripe old age of 24….(25 in 21 days…yikes), they’ve kinda grown on me.  No need to make these Jo’s from scratch.  They’re just as good with the pre-packaged mix you can get for super cheap at any grocery store.  And if you’re on a low carb diet like me, just use high fiber sandwich bread instead of a normal bun.  I found this amazing bread with only 3 net carbs!  It’s Nature’s Own brand and it says Double Fiber with Omega 3s on the front with a blue stripey thing, in case you were gonna go out and buy some for yourself…..which I highly recommend if you’re doin’ the low carb thing.

Now back to the Sloppiness.  Start by adding a pound of ground beef (or however much you need to make for your family’s needs….in my case it’s less than a pound) to a hot skillet.


Now, if you have an adorable furbaby like me, (or in my case, 5 of them) give him a hoof or pig ear to chew on.  He will love you long time!


Cook the beef til it’s completely browned, then transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain the fat off.  Dump the meat back into the skillet.


Now just look at all that fat that is now on the plate instead of in your belly.  Your arteries will thank you.


Look at that big ball of love laying patiently at my feet while I cook.  Doesn’t even beg for food!  Such a good boy Camelot is!


Now, take your Sloppy Jo mix that you bought from the store….cuz we’re time savers like that, and sprinkle onto your meat.



Since I’m only using about a half a pound of ground beef I’m only going to use an 8 oz can of tomato sauce.  If you were making a whole pound you would use a 16 oz can.  You can also use tomato paste and water.


Pour onto meat and stir until combined.



Let simmer for about 10 minutes on very low heat and stir occasionally.  In the mean time, heat your oven to 450° and put your favorite frozen fries on a baking sheet and bake for 15 min.  Or, if you’re on a low carb diet like yours truly, heat up some broccoli.


While everything cooks, you have time to look at your sweet baby boy who is being such a good helper by just laying there.  Don’t you just wanna snuggle with him?  After he stops barking of course, which he will do non stop for about 15 minutes when you arrive at HIS house.  Such a good guard dog I tell ya…but only to alert, not to inflict any harm. 🙂  And yes, I made this picture extra big so you could get a good look at him in all his glory.


Now that your food is almost done cooking, pop your buns and/or low carb bread into the oven to get a little toasty.  Cuz no one likes soft buns with their Jo’s.


Season your fries with — what else? — seasoned salt, and dish everything out!  This is Steve’s plate.  2 Sloppy Jo’s, tons of fries, and a minimal amount of broccoli.


My plate is the exact opposite.  Low carb bread (with the crust cut off) houses my Jo, and my plate is LOADED with broccoli, and has only 4 fries on it.  Sigh…the things I do to fit into a wedding dress!

Shrimp & Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce

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I LOVE PASTA!  It’s true.  I can’t get enough.  When I was in college at Cal Baptist University my main food source for lunch and dinner was pasta (whichever shape they were serving that day) with chicken and marinara sauce.  EVERY DAY!!!!  Oh, and on the side I had fries and two chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  It’s a wonder I didn’t gain 30 pounds!  I think I did gain at least 10 though.  Hey, they don’t call it the “Freshman 15” for nothing.  Now-a-days though, I have been really watching my carbs and trying to stay under 50 grams a day, which is extremely hard to do!  Have you ever counted your carbs on a normal eating day?  One bowl of oatmeal has like over 40 grams!  Don’t even get started on a slice of bread or a serving of rice.  It is very easy to consume over 200-300 grams of carbohydrates a day.  Which is a sad thing for me…the carb queen.  When I first started this diet I looked through our pantry and refrigerator and all I saw was carbs, carbs, and more carbs.  From chips, to pasta, to bread, even orange juice!  Everything I would ever eat on a daily basis had tons of these little fat distributing devils!  I had to get rid of them!  My wonderful mother introduced me to probably my biggest lifesaver….Dreamfields Pasta.  It only has 5 net carbs per serving!  FIVE!!!!  A normal pasta–even the whole wheat kind–has over 40 grams per serving.  Now I can enjoy an occasional pasta meal without feeling like I’ve taken 10 steps back in my diet.  So, today I decided to make a meal out of this wonderful thing called Dreamfields Pasta.  Btw, it tastes just like regular pasta, which is a plus in my book.


3/4 pounds penne pasta

1 pound shrimp

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp olive oil

1 whole onion (small)

2-3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup white wine, or chicken broth

1 8oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup heavy cream

fresh parsley, to taste

fresh basil, to taste

salt & pepper to taste

First, defrost your shrimp if you buy the frozen kind like me.  You can do this quickly by letting it sit under cold running water for about 5 minutes.


Once your shrimp is thawed completely, peel and de-vein it.  I know it’s gross, but someone’s gotta do it, and I know it certainly won’t be Steve!


Next, heat a tbsp of butter and olive oil in a medium skillet.


Add your shrimp to the pan and cook until just opaque.  Don’t over cook!


Once shrimp are cooked just right remove from the pan and cut into bite-sized pieces.  I cut each shrimp into 3 pieces, but you can make them whatever size you want.


Now onto the sauce.  First of all, let me say that I LOVE tomato cream sauce.  I didn’t discover it until we moved here to Tennessee and I had my first pasta dish at Carrabas called Rigatoni Martino.  Heavenly!  Ok, back to the sauce.  Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a skillet.  I’ve created this new relationship with butter that I haven’t had before I went on this low carb diet.  Turns out, butter doesn’t have any carbs!!  Yay me!  Although…..everything in moderation….calories still count! 🙂


Finely chop up a small onion….


And 2-3 cloves of garlic.  You can never have too much garlic in my opinion.  Here’s an easy way to get that papery skin off the garlic.  Place your knife over the clove and whack it with your hand…..but don’t cut yourself!


The garlic will easily separate from the skin, and the harder you whack it, the less you have to chop!



Add onion and garlic to the heavenly buttered skillet and let it cook for a minute or two.


Next add about 1/2 cup of white wine….you can drink the other 1/2 cup if you’d like 🙂  If you prefer, you can use chicken stock instead.  Let it cook out for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add an 8oz can of tomato sauce to the skillet.


And stir til combined.


Next comes the fun part.  Add 1/2 cup of cream to the sauce, and stir to combine.  Turn heat down to low and let it simmer for a few minutes.



Add shrimp back into the skillet.  Now if you’re an idiot like me and don’t have any fresh parsley or basil on hand you can use dried, but it would be so much better with fresh.


Next, add your pasta…that’s been cooking this whole time and that I forgot to mention when we first started.  Oops, sorry!  Hopefully if you try to make this, you will have read this whole post before attempting it.  Stir the pasta around to completely coat it in the sauce.


Spoon your lovely creation onto a plate and enjoy!